Issa brothers move closer to buy Asda, competition regulator approves petrol stations sale
Zuber (left) and Mohsin Issa.
BILLIONAIRE Issa brothers cleared the last hurdle to buy Asda after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) accepted their undertaking to sell 27 petrol stations to push the takeover deal.
In October, Issa brothers, owners of the forecourt company EG Group, along with private equity TDR Capital agreed upon a £6.8 billion deal to buy the supermarket chain from Walmart.
The deal completed earlier this year, but needed approval from the UK’s competition regulator.
In April, CMA had raised concerns that the takeover could trigger rise in petrol prices in some parts of the country.
To dispel CMA concerns, Issa brothers, last month offered to sell 27 of their current forecourts as part of a divestment deal.
“We can now push ahead with our exciting plans for Asda and look forward to working with the Asda management team to invest in the business to drive growth, including continuing to accelerate Asda’s online offer, sourcing more food from UK farmers, and bringing enhanced convenience to customers,” TDR and the Issa brothers said in a joint statement.
Asda sales grew 7.3 per cent on-year in the first quarter.
Asda chief executive officer Roger Burnley said in March that he planned to leave Asda next year “after the supermarket has transitioned fully to new ownership” and once his long-term successor was in place.